The Definitive Guide to Localized Marketing

January 23, 2024

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Are you struggling to get your business noticed in a sea of digital noise? While it may seem like you need to appeal to a broad, global audience, don't overlook the power of local marketing.

Whether you're running a brick-and-mortar store or an online business, tapping into your local community can offer unique advantages. By focusing on the people in your area, you can establish yourself as a trusted local brand, build long-term customer relationships, and drive more sales.

In this guide, we'll explore the importance of localized marketing and share some practical tips to help you succeed in your local market.

Why Localized Marketing Matters

With so many businesses vying for attention online, it can be difficult to capture your audience's attention. One of the most significant benefits of localized marketing is that it enables you to stand out in a crowded market. By targeting your marketing efforts to your local community, you can cut through the noise and make a real impact.

Part of it is about convenience. Statistics show that 72% of consumers who search for local businesses visit a store within five miles of their location. Further, 80% of local mobile searches result in an in-store purchase. By optimizing your online presence and focusing on local SEO, you can improve your visibility to potential customers in your area and drive more foot traffic to your store.

But localized marketing isn't just for in-person stores and foot traffic. It's also about building long-term relationships with customers. When you focus on your community, you can cultivate a sense of belonging and loyalty that transcends transactions. By offering personalized service, engaging with your customers on social media, and supporting local events and causes, you can create a brand that people want to support.

In fact, surveys show that consumers are more likely to support local businesses than large corporations. For example, a study by ATT found that 62% of consumers prefer to shop at small businesses over big box stores. By emphasizing your local roots and community ties, you can tap into this desire for authentic and meaningful experiences and drive more business your way. Here's how.

8 Tips for Breaking Into Your Local Market

Here are some of the top ways you can focus on your local community. 

1. Become a Member of the Community

The easiest way to break into your community is to become a part of it. For one, networking is a breeze if you're already a part of the conversation. You'll also have a better idea of what your community wants, where your target audience is, and how to communicate with them.

To become a part of the community, you can:

  •  Volunteering
  • Attending Community Events
  • Running a Fundraiser
  •  Joining Local Clubs
  •  Patroning Local Businesses

If you're more comfortable online, look for digital communities on Facebook Groups or NextDoor. You can also check the app MeetUp for local groups in your area.

2. Optimize Your Google Business Profile

Your Google Business Profile (GBP) is your storefront on the internet. You can claim yours here. It allows your business to pop up in search and help your audience find pertinent information about what you offer.

Be sure to optimize your profile with hours of operation, address, etc. Make your business easy to find and research.

3. Embrace Localized SEO

SEO isn't just for national web traffic. In fact, 82% of consumers have searched for local businesses using the phrase "xyz business near me." Local SEO strategy has a lot of the same principles as a regular SEO strategy with a few additions.

  • Local SEO requires you to use localized keywords. So, if you're an app developer in Dallas, you'd want to choose keywords that include your location, i.e., "App developer in Dallas" or "Dallas app developer."
  • Secondly, you'll want to ensure your content (blogs, videos, social media posts) focus on local topics in addition to broader topics. For example, you might write blogs that target your local community specifically.  
  • You'll also want to emphasize reviews because they can help your local search results. To get reviews rolling, reach out to your former happy customers to see if they'd be willing to help you out. 

These are just some of the ways to get your local SEO moving. Check out some other SEO quick fixes to improve your website's traffic.

4. Implement Local Advertising Strategies

There are endless options for advertising to your local community. From hanging up a flyer at your local coffee shop to buying a billboard in your high-traffic downtown city, there are numerous local advertising options.

Here are some to consider:

  • Local print publications: Advertise in newspapers, magazines, and other local publications that cater to your target audience.
  • Billboards and signage: Use outdoor options like billboards, signs, street benches, and banners to promote your business to local drivers and pedestrians.
  • Radio ads and interviews: Advertise on local radio stations with a significant reach in your area.
  • Local TV ads: Run ads on local TV channels during popular programs your target audience watches.
  • Local event sponsorship: Sponsor local events like festivals, fairs, and community gatherings to raise awareness of your brand and connect with potential customers. You can also sponsor sports teams, field trips, and more.
  • Direct mail: Send out direct mail pieces like postcards, flyers, and coupons to homes and businesses in your area.
  • Local search advertising: Use paid search ad platforms like Google Ads and Bing Ads to target local customers searching for products or services like yours.
  • Community partnerships: Partner with other local businesses or organizations to cross-promote each other and tap into each other's customer bases.
  • Social media advertising: Use social media ads to target people in your local community.

5. Hit Social Media Marketing Hard

While social media can help you reach international audiences, it can also help you connect to your local community. Take time to set up your chosen social media profiles and optimize them with all of the information you put in your GBP for consistency.

Next, connect with local audiences with simple friend requests. Use strategic hashtags to get in front of more people, and your local reach will start to grow quickly. You can also do fun things like local contests or giveaways when your customers follow you on social to expedite growth even more. You can also connect with local influencers to expand your reach.

Each social platform has the functionality to provide paid ads to audiences targeted by location. Leverage this and use thought leadership or social proof in your paid ads. (Figure out which social media platform is right for your business here). 

6. Embrace Localized PR

The news and media are not dead, especially for local businesses. Plenty of local tv stations, radios, newspapers, and podcasts love to do stories about companies and people in their local community.

So, if you have a story you think your community might be interested in hearing, pitch it to your local press. Generally, you'll want to create a media kit or press release and pitch it to the relevant editor, reporter, or host. Most media companies will have instructions for pitching story ideas, so always check for requirements before submitting anything.

To get press, you need to have a story. You can't just pitch media companies with what your business does. There needs to be something compelling and worth sharing.    

7. Join Local Business Directories

Directories help consumers find your business when they are ready. There are a lot of niche directories depending on what your company provides. But some universal ones include:

  • The Chamber of Commerce
  • Yellow Pages
  • Better Business Bureau 
  •  Angie's List

8. Start a Referal Program

Nothing is more effective than word-of-mouth referrals. In fact, 90% of people are more likely to buy from a company their friend recommended.

A little bit of incentivizing can go a long way. Identify and reach out to your current customers and offer them a gift card or something of value for every new customer they bring your business. You can also start a referral program with other local businesses in the area. 

Start Reaching Out to Your Local Market Today

Local marketing is a powerful tool that can help small businesses and solopreneurs get better results. Even if you operate an online business, tapping into your local market can offer unique advantages and help you compete against larger, national brands.

To get started with localized marketing, consider implementing the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, like optimizing your local SEO, leveraging social media platforms, and taking advantage of the local press.

By taking these steps, you can establish your business as a local authority, build a loyal customer base, and drive sustainable growth for years to come.